The Real Travel Tale


So that’s the last time I predict a day’s events before they actually take place. About three hours after writing my last blog post, we were eagerly awaiting the Alaska Airlines boarding announcement for the 1:25 flight to Seattle, when we heard an uncharacteristically panicked airline agent’s voice over the intercom. There seemed to be fluid leaking out of the plane. They weren’t sure where it was coming from. The wait would be at least an hour, maybe more, they weren’t sure. We were told to “hang tight.” Counter to that advice, a frenzy of travellers clutching boarding passes and dwindling hopes rushed the desk. I applauded my calm go-with-the-flow attitude. Then I recognized someone amoungst the anxious cue. Jakob? My eyes rolled. Didn’t he realize we just have to “hang tight” and wait for the plane to be fixed? As a (highly) experienced traveler I know that the airlines will sort out any missed connections as we go.

Fifteen minutes later we were gathering our backpacks and racing onto an Air Canada flight bound for Vancouver. My sweet-talking husband had somehow secured us an entirely new flight itinerary. One hour later we were sipping free drinks and munching on unlimited buffet food in the exclusive Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge at YVR. Score one for being proactive and 0 for ‘hanging tight.’

Seventeen hours later we had safely landed in Amsterdam, breezed through customs, and calmly selected the correct train ticket from the kiosk. With about an hour and 10 minutes to wait for our train to Groningen Jakob set off to find a coffee for himself and a smoothie for me. I found a bench and absent mindedly scrolled Facebook and Instagram…seems like a waste not to use free Wifi. Jakob returned ladened with delicious drinks and began scanning the train departures board. “See there’s our train!” He exclaimed. I glanced up briefly, but stayed focused on scrolling and sipping my smoothie. Jakob remained attentive to the board and a few seconds later there was a sense of urgency in his voice. “Wait! It’s leaving in 4 minutes! Not an hour and four minutes! Our phones are still on London time from the layover!” Backpacks were thrown over shoulders, drinks teetered precariously, and train tickets pulled hastily from pockets. We found the right platform, raced down the escalators, and hopped onto the train–the last one to Groningen for several hours. Score one for attentiveness and 0 for absentmindedness. Let’s be clear, the score is 2 for Jakob and 0 for me.

Ok that was the score until early on January 13th when Jakob emptied his stomach contents (including whatever was left of an amazing spiced Dutch liquor) into Oom Eilko’s toilet. I didn’t wake up until I had had 12 hours of blissful jet-lag free sleep and Jakob woke up with the flu. I spent the day exploring Assen and eating delicious Borrelnootjes (crunchy cocktail peanuts which happen to be a Kort family favourite) and Jakob spent the day in bed, trying to extinguish the second flu he has had in two week. I don’t know how many points I earned for that, but it feels like a win. Maybe tomorrow I will stop being so competitive.



8 thoughts on “The Real Travel Tale

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  1. Hi Meghan! Hope Jakob is feeling better! Stay healthy! I read that you are in Assen. Is that Assen as in Assen, Drenthe? Probably not. Assen, Drenthe is where your Grandma, Jantje Horlings (Oosterveld) worked when she was 17. This is where she met Lubbertus Horlings. But as I type all this, I think you are in a different Assen. I am so curious! Let me know! Thanks. -Mom


    1. Yes Mom, it’s Assen in Drenthe! That’s were Jakob’s cousin Renske lives. We were visiting her for the day 🙂 I knew that we had some family connection to the city but I couldn’t remember the specifics. Looks like Aunt Grace filled those in below >


  2. We have family in assen too! My mom and her sister worked there during the war. There is a deer park in town. Mom worked across the street from that! They also have a farm and bakery/coffee shop run by people with special needs!
    I think my mom and dad met in Assen- at a youth day!


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